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Welcome changes coming to Richmond Hospital

A conceptual design of Richmond Hospital
A conceptual design of Richmond Hospital's renovated atrium, part of a main floor renovation funded through the Richmond Hospital Foundation.
— image credit: Rendering courtesy of Richmond Hospital Foundation

A major renovation of Richmond Hospital's entrance will improve patient comfort and give families an easier time navigating the maze of corridors in the half-century-old facility.

"It's very exciting. It's going to really increase the comfort, the welcome feel of the hospital," said Carolle Sauro. "It's going to enhance the overall experience for people who have to access services at Richmond Hospital."

Construction begins this week on the $2-million-plus project, which is being funded almost entirely by the Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation. The hospital's redesigned atrium—scheduled to be finished at the end of August—will be renamed the Milan Ilich Pavilion in honour of the late developer and philanthropist.

Sauro, director of special projects for Richmond Hospital, said the space will become a hub for information and services, where the admitting desk will be front-and-centre. New signs and way-finding symbols with an ode to Richmond—salmon, heron, lotus flower—will make for a more pleasant hospital visit.

"So many people came and they looked totally bewildered. You don't want that experience when people are coming for procedures and are anxious already," said Sauro.

The project involves a reconfiguring of space, shifting the academic library elsewhere in the hospital, and creating a dedicated family and patient centre stocked with health care resources that will also serve as a spiritual sanctuary.

"We really have nothing available for quiet reflection—(a place for) families to go when they're experiencing some traumatic or difficult situations as a result of a family member being in acute care or patients themselves," said Sauro.

Rough flooring will be replaced with a smooth service more suitable for wheeling patients and equipment on, new exterior signs will go up and the hub's Starbucks outlet will expand its food services.

The area is located between two buildings, but health officials are working hard to ensure minimal disruption, noted Sauro.

Jon Hicke, director of communications for the Richmond Hospital Foundation, said the Milan and Maureen Ilich Foundation's total giving to the foundation over the years has exceeded $10 million.

"We're really excited and very grateful for the support that we've been given. It really does signal a bright future for the hospital. It's donors that really advance the care that we all rely on here close to home," said Hicke.

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